Liverpool went level on points with Tottenham Hotspur at the top of the Premier League table following a convincing 3-0 victory over Brendan Rodgers’ high flying Leicester City side.
Having picked up additional injuries during the international break, Jürgen Klopp was forced into making four changes from the side that drew with Manchester City. James Milner, Naby Keita and Curtis Jones all picked up a start, as did the returning Fabinho in the places of Mohamed Salah, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Klopp’s wounded Reds had the first chances of the game as Diogo Jota, Keita and Jones all tested Kasper Schmeichel within the opening 15 minutes of the contest.
The Danish keeper came out on top of his battles against Liverpool’s strike-force, however, he was eventually beaten in the 20th minute by one of his players as Jonny Evans headed into the back of his own net.
Seemingly more concentrated with the movement of Sadio Mané than the flight of the ball, the Northern Irish centre back remained rooted to the spot as James Milner’s in-swinging corner flicked off the back of his head and into the net.
Following the goal the Reds continued to look the more dangerous of the two sides despite the general openness of the game as the makeshift backline continued to successfully marshal Jamie Vardy.
The continuous danger posed by Liverpool’s front three eventually paid off yet again for Klopp as Jota doubled the lead in the 41st minute as he became the first Liverpool player in Premier League history to score in his first four Anfield fixtures.
Skipping past Mark Albrighton with ease, Andy Robertson was given time and space on the ball as he was allowed to lift his head and pick his spot before curling in an inch-perfect cross towards the penalty spot. Jota arrived at precisely the perfect moment, heading the ball past Schmeichel as he wheeled away in celebration to make it 2-0.
The Reds continued to push for the final few minutes of the half, with the break coming as a welcome sight to Leicester whose gameplay clearly hadn’t gone to plan so far.
The start of the second half saw Liverpool continue to push Leicester, however, the flow of Liverpool’s play was interrupted in the 51st minute through yet another injury as Keita was forced off clutching at his hamstring and replaced by Neco Williams.
Soon after the substitution Mané was handed a golden opportunity to kill the game as he was released through on goal, however, this time Schmeichel was more than a match as he remained on his feet and got a strong glove to the curling goal-bound effort.
The Reds almost rued the missed chances as Vardy was clipped in behind the Liverpool defence, however, brave goalkeeping by Alisson saw the Brazilian dive at the striker’s feet, smothering the ball in the process and nullifying Leicester’s attack with subsequent help from his compatriot Fabinho.Embed from Getty Images
Following Alisson’s intervention the Reds continued to remain in control as they limited Leicester’s attacking opportunities whilst also looking likely to increase their lead.
In fact the Reds could count themselves particularly unlucky to have not found a third after Roberto Firmino struck the post before seeing his subsequent effort cleared off the line. The action didn’t end their however, as Mané followed up the clearance with an attempt of his own which also cannoned off the woodwork and into the hands of a rather relieved Schmeichel.
Bobby didn’t have long to wait after that until he finally had his goal as he netted his most difficult effort of the game following yet another Milner corner in the 87th minute.
Swung in towards the penalty spot, the curling effort found Firmino alone as the Brazilian climbed unchallenged, flicking his header goal-ward towards the far corner. Schmeichel dived but never had any real chance of reaching the number nine’s effort as the ball nestled into the side netting for Liverpool’s third of the evening.
Liverpool are next in action midweek when they welcome Atalanta to Anfield in their fourth group game of the UEFA Champions League.
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